How Important Is Access to Personal Health Records for Empowering Patients?

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I think it's more central now than it will be in a few years. Within the last couple of years partly through efforts of my office, office for the National Coordinator, there has been a big uptake in adoption of electronic medical records. And that has terrific benefits to improve the quality of care, as doctors share information with each other.

So for now, I think it's really important and one of the things we're working on, is making sure that patients and consumers can get access to their own health information online, and that's something that we call blue button. Just getting your information electronically. And right now that's valuable because you don't know it's in our records.

You haven't seen it. In a few years, I think it will be less critical actually to see what your doctor has stored about you. Because in a world of calliffer reading, sensors and other ways of diagonsing you, and self diagnosis and all kinds of other things, that what is now in many cases of piece of paper will be less essential than some of the other sources of data about you, But for now, I think it's really important to get access to your record, electronically if posible.